1969-70: Genius (Vv.Aa.)
Genius, comic book version of the namesake successful novel whose main character is a villain in a black suit and a loop around his neck. It is one of many erotic-noir comic books published at the end of the ‘60s. Milo Manara draws nonstop the first 22 numbers. Different cartoonists and authors will work on the series published by Furio Viano from number 23 to 28. The first number is released on September 15, 1969.
1970-71: Il Vascello Fantasma (Vv.Aa.) and La vera storia di Jack lo Squartatore (Vv.Aa.)
Sexy Comic book by Erregi, made up of two panels per page: Manara draws two episodes, a pirate and a phantom ship story in particular, which ferry him toward his next projects.
1971-1974: Jolanda de Almaviva (by Roberto Renzi, Gaburro & Gramegna)
In October 1970 the erotic pocket-size Jolanda de Almaviva is released on newsstands, published once again by Erregi. Manara draws several numbers of the series until the 61. It is about the adventures of countess Jolanda de Almaviva: sea stories which mix the Salgarian inspiration to eros. The beautiful Jolanda is engaged to the governor of Maracaibo. After being kidnapped by pirates, she’ll fall in love with lieutenant Jean Lafayette. She will fight the Spanish conquistadors by his side.
1973-1975: Telerompo (with Silverio Pisu)
Satirical magazine with some erotic elements. Telerompo represented the tv-addicted dreamers and it ridiculed all the famous tv characters of that period with hilarious caricatures such as “Raschiaballe”, “Anna Karognina”, “Il Conte di Montecribbio”, etc…
1974: Bambole Assassine (by Silverio Pisu)
Manara realizes, with his friend Silverio Pisu for Ediperiodici, the last issue of an erotic miniseries set in a post-apocalyptic fantasy world, with a baby robot as the main character and with the clear subtitle “l’atomica del sesso”.
1974: Il Decamerone a Fumetti
Following the positive wave of the adult comics genre which lives a golden age in our country, Manara creates for International Press some stories based on the main characters of Boccaccio’s Decameron.
1974-1977: Il fumetto della realtà (by Milani, Selva, Ventura, Mantelli e Frescura)
In 1974 Milo Manara joins Corriere dei Ragazzi and works with Milo Milani and other authors. The first story drawn by Manara for the magazine is La rivincita della Morte: the weird duel between death and an ordinary man is told in a few pages. The tale belongs to the so called “fumetti-cronaca” (chronicles-comics), or comics set between fiction and reality. The chronicle approach represents a strong revolution for the Italian comics production.
1975: Un fascio di bombe (by Alfredo Castelli, Mario Gomboli)
1969. The Piazza Fontana Bombing caused a palpable atmosphere of fear and uncertainty. The attacks multiply and are initially attributed to anarchists. The comic book is realized following the real events and is distributed free of charge in 600000 copies with the socialist daily magazine L’Avanti.
1975: Quella notte del 1580 (by Milo Milani)
Once again, it’s an historical comic. Milani and Manara tell about the adventures of Gerolamo Polidori from Verona, a soldier of the Republic of Venice who has been imprisoned in Constantinople after the siege and the fall of Famagusta, main city of Cyprus island, caused by the Turkish occupation in 1570. It took almost 10 years to Polidori to escape from prison, after he had stolen from the body remains of Marc’Antonio Bragadin, Venetian garrison commander skinned alive and stuffed by the Turkish, with his body tanned with salt and vinegar. The story has been published on Corriere dei Ragazzi n.20 on May 18.
1975-76: La parola alla giuria (by Milo Milani)
This is an amazing comic about some significant events that are presented like a trial. Great historical figures are put in front of a judge and a jury and are given the chance to explain their positions. There are among them general Custer, Attila, Nero, Robespierre, Oppenheimer and Helen of Troy. The first episode, Processo a Custer has been released on April 20 on Corriere dei Ragazzi n. 16.
1976: The Ape (by Silverio Pisu)
The partnership with Silverio Pisu gives life to this extremely interesting comic, published on Alter Linus. It talks about the rehabilitation of an essential character in the Chinese fantasy literature, the Monkey King Sun Wukong, attributed to Wu Ch’eng-en, revised and adapted to convey a metaphor about Mao and the Chinese people, creating the atmosphere of those years and the feelings of ’68. Pisu and Manara use comics to tell about the changes happening during those years. Manara, thanks to this project, starts facing Moebius style.
Very short wordless story of just one page which condemn capitalism and the exploitation of weak populations, realized for Tam Tam Portfolio magazine, published also on Il Mago, three years later.
1976-1977: L’Histoire de France en bandes dessinées (by Vv.A.a)
Extraordinary and important collaboration between Manara and the French publishing company Larousse for the huge editorial project on the History of France in comic form. Manara illustrates five episodes of the collection, dedicated to Charlemagne and the Vikings, to French Revolution, to Napoleon and the Paris Commune, to the Third Republic.
1977: Alessio (by Silverio Pisu)
The Manara-Pisu duo gives life to a new adventure, something between a comic and an illustrated story: Alessio, published on alteralter. The roles of writer and cartoonist are here quite detached: the text stays apart from the drawings and set up in columns, letting the two authors work freely.
1977: Chris Lean (by Raffaele D’Argenzio)
Manara works for Corrier Boy and draws Chris Lean: main character of a detective comic with erotic elements. Lean’s character seems to have James Dean’s appearance.
1977: Volere e Potere (by Graziano Origa)
Volere e Potere, published on the periodical Contro, stems from the meeting between Manara and Origa in 1977, from the discussion about a petition on conscientious objection.
1978: Storia d’Italia a fumetti di Enzo Biagi (by Vv.A.a)
Manara takes part to the ambitious project by Enzo Biagi published by Arnoldo Mondadori: using comics to tell the History of Italy. The author from Verona illustrates four episodes: Firenze, L’Atene del Medioevo, Il Papa lascia Roma, La lingua degli italiani.
1978: The Snowman (by Alfredo Castelli)
Manara realizes one volume of Cepim (now Sergio Bonelli Editore) collection “Un uomo, un’avventura”: it’s a fantasy story written by Alfredo Castelli, who will then create Martyn Mistère, which tells about an expedition in the Himalayas looking for a Yeti, the alleged snowman. Here it seems that Manara finds his own balance while he realizes the panels, showing a clear influence by Moebius already there for quite some time.
1978: HP and Giuseppe Bergman
Since 1978 Manara, thanks to his mentor Hugo Pratt, starts his partnership with the important French magazine (A SUIVRE), edited by Casterman, for which he realizes his work HP and Giuseppe Bergman. HP obviously stands for Hugo Pratt while Giuseppe Bergman is the author’s alter ego. Manara shows an excellent knowledge of the comics medium and also his great urge to tell and experiment. Eroticism isn’t absent but it isn’t the main element. The whole story, some sort of an ante-litteram reality show, directly follows Bergman’s rebellion to the idea of a trivial life and his search for adventure by all means, the adventure which will take him around the world. Amazonia is the final destination of his first journey in his imagination.
1979-1980: La découverte du monde en bandes dessinées (by Vv.Aa.)
Even for this collection released by Larousse, Manara draws two stories dedicated to famous explorers: James Cook, British navigator and cartographer who among several achievements is remembered for letting the Europeans reach the Australian coasts in the mid-1700s, and Vasco Núñez de Balboa, who for the first time on September 1513 stands in front of the Pacific Ocean.
1980: Periodo Blu
One of the most recurring themes both in short and long stories by Manara is a certain rejection of the world of cinema and television, which he often translates with the illustration of directors and producers as absolutely hateful people. In this type of stories one of the characters is unable to let an old man pose for him. The story, inspired by the figure of Pablo Picasso, is published on Nemo in Blue magazine n.0.
1980: An author in search of six characters
1982: Dies irae: The African Adventures of Giuseppe Bergman
The character of Giuseppe Bergman shows up in An author in search of six characters and in Dies irae, both identified as The African Adventures of Giuseppe Bergman, usually published as a single adventure. Several people believe these are the most beautiful stories on the character: two original gems, impeccably drawn, rich of humour, adventure and eroticism. Manara demonstrates an overwhelming desire to narrate, to entertain but also to reflect and he leads the reader in an undiscovered Africa, which destroys all our prejudices on the dark continent. He keeps using meta-narrative standings and winks to the reader, such as the quote for the famous pièce by Luigi Pirandello. The stories are firstly published on Totem magazine and then they are collected in volumes published by Edizioni Nuova Frontiera.
1981: Dedicato a Corto Maltese
It’s a story that honors the main character of the adventures of Manara’s friend and mentor, the great Hugo Pratt, even if he doesn’t portray him. The main character is Corto Maltese’s famous friend, the awful Rasputin. Manara reports that Hugo Pratt was moved when he read it. Also, Gabriele Salvatores liked it enough to think about making a movie based on it.
Fantasy story, published on the Italian version of Métal Hurlant, which clearly proves to be a tribute to Jorge Louis Borges and to another of Manara’s mentors, Moebius, whose atmospheres are almost faithfully recreated in this funny space adventure.
1981: John Lennon
Story in two pages dedicated to the great singer and musician from Liverpool, killed on December 8, 1980 by Mark David Chapman, and published on a special number of (A SUIVRE).
1981-1982: The Paperman
The Paperman is a beautiful adventure, a western comic realized for the French editor Dargaud. In Italy it has been published on Pilot magazine. Manara moves away from experimentalism to write and draw an adventure told from the Indians point of view. Eroticism is lightly touched through the Indian character of White Rabbit while there’s some kind of humour spread in the whole story. It’s also known as Quattro dita, which should have been the title of the series but unfortunately there was an interruption on the first episode due to a change in ownership of the French editor.
1981-1982: Histoire de la Chine – de Confucius à nos jours
Manara is also involved in this collective volume on the History of China which starts from the key figure of the philosopher Confucius, edited once again by Larousse.
1982: Acherontia Atropos
Short story, realized by Manara for the first number of Orient Express magazine, who gets the idea from a very rough theme, snuff movies, porn movies in which the violence on the actors is real and they can end with their killing.
1982: The Last Tragic Day of Gori Bau & the Callipygian Sister
Wonderful and visionary depiction of a descent into hell, published on Frigidaire. Manara pays tribute to the Márquez of The Incredible and Sad Tale of Innocent Eréndira and Her Heartless Grandmother.
In 1982 Manara collaborates also with the adult magazine Playmen which commissions him an erotic comic. Manara, free to give voice to his own imagination, invents an erotic transgressive and joyful story. Click is his most known and sold work about the middle-class hypocrisy; it tells about Claudia Cristiani, a wonderful woman from the upper class who gets rather uncontrollably horny, she’s dominated by sexual impulses due to a mysterious receiver implanted in her brain which sets her unconscious inclinations free. It’s a device inspired also by Buñuel’s Belle de Jour. Her change in mood is recurring and she’s always anxious to show off her body, to play sexual games with anyone, better if in public. To luxuriate is her imperative.
Click has been translated in several languages, like most of Manara’s works, in French in particular with the title Le déclic. The comic will get so much success that by this work will be inspired both a film, directed by Jean-Louis Richard and played by the fascinating Florence Guérin, and a bunch of softcore American comedies. A videogame and a dance show will also be inspired by Click.
1983: Senza Titolo
Short fantasy story, filled with erotic and strictly dreamlike atmospheres which owes much to the cinematic world of Federico Fellini. Realized for an exhibition dedicated to the director from Rimini, the story represents the first spark between Fellini and Manara. It will be part of the anthology Shorts published by Edizioni Nuova Frontiera in 1985.
1983-85: Indian Summer (by Hugo Pratt)
In 1983, after the birth of Corto Maltese magazine, Manara works to one of his best stories. It’s written by Hugo Pratt, it’s inspired by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter and by the novels of James Oliver Curwood. By remembering this comic book Manara will often declare: “I felt honoured to be the only one cartoonist for which Hugo Pratt has written not just one but two stories”.
1985: The Diary of Sandra F.
The Diary of Sandra F. belongs to the Shorts series realized by Manara for Totem magazine “Eldorado” and it’s based on a collection of letters sent to Manara from a faithful fan.
1986: Mors tua vita mea
The story, published on n.18 of Comic Art magazine, is dedicated to the painter that Manara has always indicated as his first mentor both for his paintings and ideals, Paolo Veronese. The files on which Manara based his work are taken by the dossier of the real trial Veronese went through.
A sad man at first glance is watching Fellini’s Casanova on his armchair: the story turns unrealistic as the tv explodes. Once repaired, the device keeps advertising a product which has just been shown in the story before (pannoloni Pannolon) and it seemed impossible to stop it. The story refers to Manara’s and other directors protest against the tv spots. It has been published on Estate, the Messaggero magazine insert.
Dovevo togliermela dalla testa
Lo seguiva dovunque come un’ombra
Two short stories realized for an ad campaign for Clear shampoo (other stories were commissioned to authors like Mattioli, Toppi, Crepax, Pazienza).
1986: Trip to Tulum (by Federico Fellini)
Trip to Tulum was first published in 1986 as a serial on Corriere della Sera with a different title; it’s a story written by Fellini with Manara’s illustrations. Then Manara himself asks to create a comic book based on that story. His request is accepted. Fellini realizes the storyboards that will inspire Manara for the production of his panels.
The idea comes from the novel The Invisible Man, written in 1881 by H.G.Wells. It’s about a scientist reaching for fame and glory who finds a way to become invisible. From that moment on, he faces several problems due to his new condition. Manara assumes that among the things that an invisible man can do there are some sexual acts, such as spying the loved woman, getting in touch with young girls unaware of what is going to happen to them (to undress them among other people or similar jokes) up to the sexual violence. This happens especially in the first story in the book, which is more joyful and funny; it’s created by request of the French magazine Écho des Savanes of Albin Michel, editor who successfully published Click. Here debuts Honey, Manara’s most famous female character who will appear in other stories.
1987: Sesso o tabù? (X3)
Some sort of comics-quiz to find out about the readers’ sexual inclinations or inhibitions. At the end of the story, published on L’Espresso Più, which provides four different endings, one can classify as: salacious, kinky, restrained or exalted.
Short story in colors, published on the women’s magazine Marie Claire: the main character, namesake of the magazine, opens a 16th century console’s drawer and she falls into a weird dream from which she will not wake up until the last panel.
1988: Perchance to dream: The Indian Adventures of Giuseppe Berman
Milo Manara’s unruly character is back to live his Indian adventures. The comic book settings are inspired by real places visited and reported by Manara himself. The idea of an Indian journey to develop for a comics story for Corto Maltese belongs to Fulvia Serra, the director of the magazine. Manara go on the journey with Franco Mescola: even if they don’t follow the pre-fixed roadmap, this becomes another rich and fascinating adventure which focuses on different temporal levels and settings and recreates locations and atmospheres of little known countries.
1988: Hidden Camera (Honey I-VI)
Honey, main character of Il profumo dell’invisibile, is also the main character of this collection of six short stories, published on L’Espresso Più. Here we find Honey working with a TV crew in search of people’s reactions to embarrassing situations, some sort of research on the common sense of decency.
1990: Il Muro
Short story made up of 4 panels without any dialogue or captions, realized after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
1991: Una musica celestiale (Note napoletane)
A very short story set in Naples of just two pages characterized by surrealistic and fantastical tones. It has been published on the second volume of Shorts published by Edizioni Nuova Frontiera.
1991: Cristoforo Colombo (by Enzo Biagi)
After Storia d’Italia a fumetti, Enzo Biagi works once again for Arnoldo Mondadori Editore and writes the story of Christopher Columbus, taking advantage of the graphic contribution and the universally recognised talent of Manara.
1991: Il sogno di Oengus (by Giordano Berti)
It’s a modern adaptation of an ancient Celtic legend, published by Lo Scarabeo edizioni: it’s a dream of love and war set in the mist of the green Ireland, at the time of Tuatha gods.
1991: Click 2
Three more sequels of Click have been realized due to the enormous success of the first one (even if Manara expected to stop with Click 2). Its main character is always ready to show her body in public. The story was just an excuse to show a joyful eroticism and at the same time to mock a certain type of hypocrisy; the sequels become a repetition with several theme variants. Manara still succeeds to add elements of social criticism or topical issues such as the Amazonia and native exploitation or political corruption. Click 2 appears on Totem and reintroduces Honey.
1991-1995: El Gaucho (by Hugo Pratt)
In 1991 Manara and Pratt work on a new historical adventure published on Il Grifo magazine, directed by Vincenzo Mollica. El Gaucho, set in the early 19th century in Argentina, is a story about some events concerning the English navy stationed in Buenos Aires and a floating brothel filled with girls destined to entertain the officers. The main female character is Molly Malone and the story is told from the point of view of an old man who remembers his youth.
1992: Il viaggio di G. Mastorna, detto Fernet (by Federico Fellini)
Among the unrealized project by Federico Fellini, Il viaggio di G. Mastorna, detto Fernet, on which Fellini starts working in 1965 and that will somehow finish two years later, deserves a special place. The cinematographic project turns into a failure, because of a quarrel with the producer Dino De Laurentiis who also tries to seize the director’s assets to force him to shoot the movie. Some years later it will turn into a comic book realized by Manara, which marks the second act of the collaboration between the director from Rimini and the artist from Verona. “In short it’s a story about an unaware dead man”, said Federico Fellini.
1994: Click 3
In 1994 Click 3 was published by Edizioni Nuova Frontiera: Faust is back, already part of the second episode, while the fascinating Claudia is in Amazonia among weird gold miners and religious sects that believe sex is the only way to stay in touch with the energy of the cosmos.
Wordless story realized for the volume Au Secours! published in collaboration with Amnesty International by the French editor Albin Michel.
Erotic short story inspired by the figure of Salomé, Jewish princess, Herodias and Herod’s daughter, who inspired a tale by Gustave Flaubert and a play by Oscar Wilde. According to the gospel of Mark she demanded and received the head of John the Baptist after she danced for her uncle Herod Antipas the Dance of the Seven Veils.
The project is inspired by Jonathan Swift’s novel, with an amazing female character destined to live the same adventures of the novel’s main character but with erotic variations. It was published on the travel magazine Gulliver.
1997: Fatal Rendezvous
Manara keeps using eroticism but this time he gives up the joyful sex that made his works successful. The story, published by Mondadori, is inspired by a true event and narrates about usury; the erotic scenes are anything but delightful and they represent acts of violence and rape. The first Italian version, Ballata in Si bemolle was considered too cruel (because of the Serbian punisher in the last scenes) and was replaced by the French editor with the one that is used in the current Italian version.
1997: Star e Starlette
Three short stories published on L’Echo des Savanes Cannes special insert. In the same year Manara realizes the official Uncertain regard poster.
1998: Manara’s Kama Sutra
Even if Manara’s Kama Sutra has been published on volumes it isn’t a comic book. It’s a collection of illustrations dated 1998 for a multimedia cd-rom interactive game. In paper form the cartoons are mixed with digital settings and backgrounds.
1999: The Golden Ass
It’s an erotic graphic novel adaptation of one of classic Roman literature’s most legendary stories, published by Les Humanoïdes Associés, the editor of Métal Hurlant, and part of a collection of classic literature turned into comic books. Manara revises the book, treasuring the visual inventions and intuitions of Fellini’ Satyricon.
The history of humanity told through a wordless book, published by Écho des Savanes showing the timeline of man in the way of the Darwinism evolution strip, from the Neanderthal man to the present day. He uses his two key elements: eros and violence.
1999: To See the Stars: The Urban Adventures of Giuseppe Bergman
In 1999 Manara’s favourite character Bergman is back for a new adventure published by Mondadori. The title clearly refers to Dante’s Divine Comedy while the story, illustrated with the aquatint technique, revisits art history highlighting its most famous paintings.
It is about Wilma, an uninhibited and highly masochist girl who enjoys hurting herself getting two piercings on her nipple and on her clitoris respectively. This story is an appendix to www.
Manara keeps telling stories which include social critique elements. With this pamphlet, published by Mondadori, he focuses on the issue of the tv intrusiveness and its ability to manipulate people’s mind.
Manara deals with the web and with the erotic chats populated by uninhibited girls. He clearly builds a story about three easy girls with a villain who stalks one of them. Manara doesn’t restrain the erotic scenes throughout the whole story. The comic book is published by Mondadori for the “Oscar Bestsellers” collection.
2001: Click 4
The fourth episode of the Click series, published by Mondadori, isn’t as much ironic and joyful as its previous ones; it has a darker style and themes like political intrigues, corruption and multinational companies. This gloomy tone is due also to an unhappy period that Manara was living, he had lost his friends and his lightness.
2001: Butterscotch 2
In the second episode of the story inspired by Wells, published by Panorama, there are darker tones and the addition of a dramatic storyline: a group of terrorists wants to use the formula for invisibility to easily plan a terror attack. This time Honey isn’t the main character.
2002: Piranese: The Prison Planet
Piranese: The Prison Planet brings Manara back to the fantasy genre, which he didn’t explore much in his previous works. Once again, he tries to talk about the manipulation of people by society. He’s very sensitive about this issue: the complaint of the political corruption and the media manipulation is more specific. The erotic tone is still very relevant even when it refers to the social critique. The first edition is published by Mondadori.
2002: The Model
The Model, published by Mondadori, is not a real comic book, but some sort of personal journey into art history through centuries. Manara presents to us, in this lush art book, the history of women modeling for painters, sculptors or acting as muses to well-known artists and creators of all types, and of course, as modern-day advertising models and cover girls. Among the mentioned artist there are Caravaggio, Klimt, Modigliani, Rodin, Goya, Dalì. The project, whose title is based on Picasso’s 1963 painting, is also a play by David Riondino.
2003: Desire (by Neil Gaiman)
Manara draws a story about Sandman by Neil Gaiman for DC Comics Vertigo brand. It’s the episode titled Desire, included in the volume The Sandman: Endless Nights, in which there are also other stories by other great artists, dedicated to Death, Madness, Dream, Desperation, Destruction, Fate and Desire.
2004: The Odyssey of Giuseppe Bergman
The latest adventure of Giuseppe Bergman, The Odyssey of Giuseppe Bergman, based on the classic by Homer. It belongs to The Urban Adventures of Giuseppe Bergman that contains also To See the Stars, published a few years before by Mondadori.
2004-2010: The Borgias vols 1-4 (by Alejandro Jodorowsky)
The collaboration between Manara and a comic master like Jodorowsky gives life to The Borgias, a four-part sweeping saga of sex, blood and religion, published by Mondadori. It’s another great work of Manara, who collaborates with an author who always felt comfortable dealing with the taste for grotesque and excess.
2006: Quarantasei (with Valentino Rossi)
Manara creates a story with Valentino Rossi as the main character (who collaborates also to the plot). In this case the eroticism is very soft and it refers to the physical aspect of its female characters; it’s an adventure about sports, particulary motorcycle road racing. The comic book isn’t coloured by Manara, it was published as a series on Rolling Stones magazine from 2005, and later in volumes for Leopoldo Bloom Editore.
2007: La Vendetta
It’s a tribute published on the collective book Asterix et ses amis, realized for Albert Uderzo 80th anniversary, the graphic creator of Asterix the Gaul, the most popular French comics.
2007: Pandora’s Eyes (by Vincenzo Cerami)
Pandora is a gorgeous girl, until her uncontrollable anger makes her eyes piercingly wild. Shortly after a breakthrough in therapy, Pandora is kidnapped and thrown into a crime-filled conspiracy in Turkey that’s connected to her mysterious past. There, her kidnappers tells her she will meet her father… It’s the debut for Cerami as a comic book writer. Before being released in Italy, the book was published in France by Les Humanoïdes Associés with the title Les yeux de Pandora.
2009: X-Women (by Chris Claremont)
In 2009 Manara works once again for the USA, for Marvel in particular, dealing with the female characters of the X-Men world, the so-called X-Girls, written by the great screenwriter of mutants, Chris Claremont. A 48-pages adventure between Madripoor and the Greek islands which see Storm, Rogue, Psylocke, Kitty Pride, Marvel Girl and Emma Frost fighting a mysterious enemy.
2009: Merci, Monsieur Forest
For the 50th anniversary of the French magazine Pilote, Manara realizes a tribute to Jean-Claude Forest, Barbarella’s creator, one of the characters that made him fall in love for the world of comics.
2015: Ophelia 2000
A two pages wordless story about technology, published on the Fashion, Art and Design International magazine, Numéro.
2015-2018: Caravaggio vols 1-2
Manara returns to the world of comics with a project about the great artist Michelangelo Merisi, known as Caravaggio. A painter which Manara feels very attached to and whose adventures allow him create an interesting and complex screenplay. Produced by the French editor Glénat and published by Panini in Italy, the first volume, The Palette and the Sword, was released in 2015, while the second one, La Grazia, will be released in 2018.